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Martin McGuinness son backs Mary Lou McDonald for Sinn Fein president - nominations to close

Nominations for the Sinn Fein leadership will close at 5pm on Friday with Mary Lou McDonald expected to be named as the only candidate.

Mrs McDonald, the party's current deputy leader, has long been the favourite to succeed outgoing Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams, who has held the position since 1983.

On social media there has been widespread support for the Dublin Central TD to take the position.

In a video posted to Twitter Fiachra McGuinness, son of former deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, offered his support to Mrs McDonald.

"I am proud and honoured to endorse Mary Lou McDonald," he said.

"My father worked closely with Mary Lou for many years in the Sinn Fein leadership, and was a huge admirer of her ideas, dedication, and commitment," he said. 

He said Mrs McDonald was the "ideal candidate" to "lead Sinn Fein into the future".

Other high-profile party members who have given their backing to Mrs McDonald are MEP Martina Anderson, Wicklow TD John Brady, and former Westminster candidate John Finucane.

Gerry Adams announced he would be stepping down as the leader of the party in November of last year at the party's Ard Fheis in Dublin, saying it would be his last as leader.

A special Ard Fheis is set to take place on February 10 for the new leader to be confirmed.

The party had said it will hold a series of debates ahead of this to allow candidates to address party members.

After last November's Ard Fheis, Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill ruled herself out of the running for the party's leadership as too did Pearse Doherty who was considered a possible contender.

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